Tire Industry HOF inductees announced

Aug. 12, 2011

The Tire Industry Association (TIA) has announced the recipients of the 2011 Tire Industry Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame inductions are a part of TIA's Tire Industry Honors event, which will take place from 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 31, 2011, at The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The recipients are: Bill Fountain, founder of Fountain Tire; John Gamauf, president, Consumer Replacement Tire (retired) of Bridgestone North American Tire; Onkar Kanwar, chairman, Apollo Tyres Ltd.; and Ralph "Buddy" Snow, vice president and counsel (retired) for Oliver Rubber.

Admission to Tire Industry Honors is complimentary; however, an RSVP is required. To make an RSVP, visit the "Events" section of www.tireindustry.org, or call 800.876.8372, ext. 104.

Bill Fountain is the late founder of Edmonton, Alberta - based Fountain Tire. Founded in 1956, the business grew until in 1967, Bill Fountain and other tire dealers from Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta formed Astro Tire & Rubber Co., creating their own private label tire brand. He died in 1976.

John Gamauf joined Firestone Tire & Service Center in Chicago in 1969 as a general service technician, rising through the ranks from assistant wholesale zone manager in Chicago to vice president of consumer tire sales. In May 2003, he assumed the title of president, consumer replacement tire of Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, LLC, where he served in this capacity until his retirement in May of 2008.

Under the leadership of Onkar Kanwar, Apollo Tyres was transformed from an ailing company to the No. 1 commercial vehicle tire manufacturer in India, and also a global entity. He has been closely associated with leading national and international industry organizations, including serving as president of FICCI and chairman of ATMA.

Ralph "Buddy" Snow started his career in the retread industry with his family-owned business, Dixie-Cap, in 1965. In 1969, he was elected president of Dixie-Cap and served in that capacity until the company was acquired by Oliver Rubber in 1979. For the next 23 years, he served as the vice president & counsel for Oliver Rubber, until retiring in 2002. In 2003, he became a registered mediator with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution and still serves in that role. He was also actively involved in the formation of the Tire Retread Information Bureau (TRIB).

"On behalf of the Tire Industry Association, I congratulate Bill Fountain, John Gamauf, Onkar Kanwar and Buddy Snow on their induction to this year's Tire Industry Hall of Fame class. Their remarkable careers have helped to make the tire industry what it is today, and they exemplify everything that is great about this industry," said TIA Executive Vice President Roy Littlefield. NOTE: Photos of these inductees are available in the "News" section of TIA's website, www.tireindustry.org.